Bonya Ahmed


Simple narratives can be deadly: how I recovered from a terror attack

Bonya and her husband Avijit Roy were targeted by Islamist terrorists in an attack which left her gravely injured and Avijit dead. Seeking to understand why this happened, she realised the question she must ask is not “Why did this happen to me?” but “Why NOT me?” In this deeply personal, powerful talk about her recovery and how we build a more peaceful world she urges us to reject the simple narratives offered by politicians and extremists alike, to grapple with complexity, and stay engaged.

Rafida Bonya Ahmed is a published author, moderator at Mukto-mona blog, the first online platform for Bengali speaking freethinkers, and has been a Visiting Research Scholar at UT Austin since 2016, working on the rise of Islamic fundamentalism.

Bonya is the widow of Avijit Roy, a well-known writer, blogger, and activist who founded Mukto-mona. Avijit was murdered when they were attacked by Islamists during a book signing trip to Dhaka, Bangladesh in 2015. Bonya was gravely injured during the attack.

Biography published 2018

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